Lawson Products, Inc., Des Plaines, IL, reported sales of $106.8 million for the fourth quarter 2008, down 13.6% from the prior year. A loss of $5.4 million was recorded, compared with profit of $4 million for the fourth quarter 2007.
For the full year, sales decreased 5.3% to $485.2 million in 2008 compared to $512.5 million in 2007 primarily as a result of the global economy's significant pullback in the fourth quarter of 2008. The loss for the year was $27.6 million; for 2007, profit of $10.6 million was reported.
Costs related to the settlement of the investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, severance costs, unclaimed property expenses and the goodwill impairment charge totaled $43.2 million in 2008 and $18.2 million in 2007.
While the duration of the economic downturn is uncertain, we are taking immediate steps to reduce our expenses. First, we have already begun the process of closing our Charlotte, NC distribution facility which will be complete by the end of March, said Thomas Neri, president and CEO. "We expect to further rationalize our distribution network throughout 2009 to properly service our customers and control costs. We will continue to aggressively pursue other cost reduction measures and right size our business for today's economic environment."
Lawson Products is a distributor of services, systems, and products to the industrial, commercial, and institutional maintenance, repair and operations market. The company also manufacturers, sells, and distributes production and specialized component parts, and provides services and systems to original equipment manufacturers.